There was a story in the news this week about a father in Florida who had developed his ten commandments for anyone wanting to date his daughter. One of those was, “Thou shalt better have a life.” I smiled at that one, although you have to admit, there is a lot of truth there.
I think of all my friends in Colorado this past week (and there are many) who suddenly came face to face with having to decide what is most important in life. With just an hour’s notice in some cases, they had to pack up their most prized possessions and leave their homes, knowing that anything left behind may very well become ashes.
So what do you think they took? Did they load up the high dollar high definition television they had worked so hard for or the leather sofa? No. Invariably, they took the things that were most valuable to them, and those things were all about people. First, they made sure family members were safe. Then they quickly gathered pictures, videos, personal mementos – the kinds of things that may seem worthless to others but were priceless to them.
If you think about it, we spend so much of our lives working to get all the “other” stuff – stuff that if we had to evacuate with one hour’s notice would not even make the cut. So I think this father’s tongue-in-cheek advice actually is very wise – “thou shalt better have a life”. It is better to have a life well lived, to invest in people, than in any other thing.
My friend Kevin Miller was in New Mexico with his family serving at the Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home as the blaze started back home in Colorado and quickly spread across the ridge to within a mile of his house. He wrote a profoundly insightful article about the experience, summarizing it by saying, “Only the stories of what we’ve done, who we’ve been, and who we’ve loved matter.” He gets it.